Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clear-Headed, For Once

I went over to Anna’s house for some twin time (they are getting SO big) and coffee. I told her about my confusing relationship situation and asked for her advice while the twins took a nap.

“I apologized to him and things have been steadily getting friendlier at work now. I think he might even be dating someone.” I said helping Anna fold a mountain of laundry.

“So, then he’s out of the picture now? Romantically speaking?” Anna asked.

“Yep. And so is Luke. He was all wrong for me anyway.”

“So…are you just going to take a break from dating for awhile?” Anna asked.

“I think so. I’m pretty sure I need to. I need there to be a break from all the dating issues. I feel like there was never really a break for me between all of these relationships with men I’ve had over the past two years, you know? Like, I stopped dating Dean and then almost immediately started dating Kevin and when that went south, Sean and I met and started casually seeing each other until things were made official and then when we finally broke up I just started going on this slew of bad dates with whoever showed me any interest. It’s time I stopped dating for awhile.”

“I think that’s a really good thing, Faith.” Anna patted my hand.

“I’ve been thinking about something Zoey said.” I said staring into my cup of coffee.


“She thought that maybe volunteering at an animal shelter might help me with grieving for Murphy.”

“I agree with her, Faith, I think that would be a great idea. I have a list of animal shelters in the area if you want them.”

“Why do you have that?” I said with confusion.

“Oh, we were thinking about getting a dog, but with the twins walking now…I just don’t think it would be a good idea to have walking and crawling babies AND a puppy to deal with. So we’re just going to hold off a bit longer on that front.”

“Oh, okay, well, yeah I’ll take them off your hands for you.”

Anna went into her computer room and grabbed a printout of a list of animal shelter websites. I just got done looking at them and I’m scheduled to talk to a woman at volunteer services for three large shelters in the area soon. Hopefully I’ll start volunteering within a few weeks once I get all the paperwork filled out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


“Faith, I think you’ve been through a lot over the past 12 months. I don’t know that your moving on from everything is going to happen by a certain time. The real point is that you are making progress.”

“But…I just feel…so…lost.” I sighed.

Dr. Sheehan sat across from me in a sensible suit and pumps. She had her usual yellow legal pad in her lap and a bright blue pen in her hand as she jotted down notes during our session.

“I think anyone who has gone through what you have would feel lost and out of place.”

“But why can’t I move on from my relationship with Sean? Why is that so impossible for me?” I said getting emotional and frustrated. I pounded my fist on the armchair I was sitting on.

“Oh, I think you have moved on from that.” Dr. Sheehan said. I was a bit surprised by that.


“Yes. I think what you’re struggling with now is not the loss of your relationship with Sean but allowing yourself to be in a relationship that you see as healthy.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve been coming to me for well over a year now and you’ve made a lot of progress but looking over your relationships, would you say they’ve been healthy?”

I thought for a moment and then felt embarrassed because I couldn’t say a single one was a healthy relationship.

“No.” I said sheepishly.

“Why do you think that is?”

“Well, I don’t think I actively seek out unhealthy relationships, I mean, when Sean and I got together we were happy for awhile.”

“Didn’t Sean lie to you about why he wanted to post-pone having sex with you right when you began dating?”

“Yes, but that was a really personal thing for him so I understand not wanting to talk about th-”

“Didn’t he also lie to you about taking erectile dysfunction medications at one point as well?”

“Yes but he eventually told me…”

“And when he was gone on tour and came to visit you at his office didn’t he throw a tantrum in front of your co-workers?”

“Um yes,” I said meekly, “But Randy and I were happy.”

“When? When you were actively cheating on him, with Sean, or when you couldn’t bring yourself to tell him how lackluster you thought having sex with him was?”

“Ouch.” I said.

“Faith, I’m only being this aggressive with you because you’ve been seeing me for so long and I know you can handle it. It’s time to stop making excuses for your previous relationships. It’s time to recognize that you are better than that, and more importantly, that you deserve better.”

“So…do you think sleeping with Brad is just another way for me to seek out another probably unhealthy relationship?” I asked.

“I can’t really answer that for you, Faith. But what I can tell you is that you do exhibit certain patterns of behavior. This isn’t the first time you’ve slept with someone casually and had a relationship…or at least feelings develop from it. You did this with Sean and with Malcolm.”

Malcolm was my first serious boyfriend. We met in college and were partners in this acting class. We started sleeping together and eventually dating and he broke my heart when he graduated and moved back to London.

“Not only that, but it seems like you’re not very sure where feelings of friendship and feelings of romantic love collide. Brad isn’t the first male friend of yours that you’ve brought up in our sessions. Adam is also a male friend that you have feelings for and feel uncomfortable acting on. I think this is a significant pattern in the way you form relationships.”

“But…aren’t healthy relationships built on friendship?” I asked.

“Yes,” Dr. Sheehan said, “but your problem is that you don’t want to build romantic relationships with men you already have strong friendships with. If you wanted your relationships to be built off of friendship, then why turn Adam down every time he expressed his interest? Why tell Brad you didn’t want to go on the date when you could have kept that to yourself? I think it’s because you don’t want a healthy relationship.”

I thought about Dr. Sheehan’s words.

“But that just seems so absurd,” I said, “Why would I want to seek out unhealthy relationships? I don’t want to ever go through what I went through with Kevin, Sean, or Randy ever again. And between you and me, I would also like to avoid ever dating a priest again, too.”

Dr. Sheehan smiled. Dating Dean and finding out he was a priest was very traumatic but now it’s something I can look back on and laugh about. Telling Dr. Sheehan about Dean and his priest confession was a fun story.

“I don’t know that you are doing it in a way that you are aware, Faith. Sometimes we do stupid things and can’t seem to figure out why afterward.”

“But that sounds like you’re telling me to go on a date with Brad or Adam.” I said with confusion.

“I’m not saying that, Faith. What I am saying is that I think you need to be more honest with yourself about your feelings.”

“But I really don’t want to go out on a date with Brad or Adam. I think the whole Brad situation happened because I’ve felt so lonely and it was nice to finally have someone pay attention to me. I think I used Brad’s affection for me to make myself feel better and it would be cruel to pretend like a relationship was something I wanted with him right now.”

“Do you think you’re ready for a relationship at all?”

“I honestly don’t know. Not after this whole talk we’ve had. Maybe I should just steer clear of relationships forever.” I said dramatically.

Dr. Sheehan laughed.

“I don’t think you need to write off ever being in a relationship again, but I do think you need to start realizing that you’re worthy of love and that you deserve a healthy relationship…for whenever you are ready for one again.”

“But how do I do that?”

“Well, have you ever actively sought out someone to date?” I gave her a confused look, “All of the men you’ve been involved with asked you out, right?”

“Um…yes.” I said thinking about it, “If you don’t consider the whole Brad mix-matched text message deal.”

“Maybe you should try asking someone out that you prefer rather than accepting dates from men that seek you out.”

“Why would that make a difference?”

“Well, when a person is the one being asked out on a date, I think there’s sometimes a fear that if they don’t accept they’ll never be asked out again because they’re too picky or uptight or some other negative attribute that they ascribe to themselves. But when someone actually does the asking, there’s fear of rejection, but there’s also an element of control. You are asking someone out that you prefer rather than accepting a date with someone who found you interesting based on their own preferences. Does that make sense?”

“Kind of.” I said, “Same time next week?”

Dr. Sheehan nodded and said good-bye as I left her office. I’ve been thinking about what she said and I know I have a lot of issues but I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress. I mean, at least I’m not trolling dating sites like I was right after Sean and I officially ended things. At least I’m not accepting dates from every guy who asks. Maybe I just need to get out more and meet new people.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stockroom Dialogues

Brad has been giving me the cold shoulder at work ever since the abysmal ending of our date. And I’m not the only one who has noticed.

“Okay, what is the deal?” Cara said once Brad went to the stockroom during a lull in customers, “Did you guys break up or something?”

“Cara, we were never dating.”

“Sure.” She said unbelievingly, “Then why is he acting like that?”

“He’s just mad at me for something I said.”

“Well, could you do something about it? Because I used to love coming to work and now I hate it, so you need to do something to fix it.”

“I’ll talk to him tonight once our shift is done.” I sighed.

Brad has been making excuses to stay behind when I’m about to leave so he won’t have to ride on the same bus as me, so when I was about to leave and he made some excuse about having to go back to the stock room, I didn’t let it slide. I followed him into the stockroom and took a deep breath.

“Look, Brad, I know you’re angry with me and I want to apologize for what happened. I consider you to be a really great friend and I…just feel really bad about how things happened.”

“I don’t understand why I’m not good enough for you.” He said looking hurt.

“Trust me, it has nothing to do with you, Brad. It has everything to do with me.”

He shook his head unbelievingly.

“Do you remember when I told you about my last boyfriend?” I asked sitting down on a wooden crate.
Brad nodded.

“Well, I didn’t tell you how we met and I think if I DO tell you about that, you might start to believe me when I say it’s not you, it’s me.”

Brad sat down on a crate diagonally from me in a corner.

“Go ahead.” He said crossing his arms.

“Sean and I met at a bar his band was playing at. I had just gotten out of another really bad relationship,” I smiled internally…I certainly follow a pattern, “and we ended up having what I expected to be a one-night stand in the bar bathroom and then in his hotel room. Sean and I started casually having sex and both agreed that it was just going to be sex…no relationship would develop. Well, you know the rest of the story. We obviously weren’t able to keep it casual. I should have learned my lesson but I didn’t and now I’ve hurt you.”

Brad was quiet for awhile.

“You weren’t the only one in our situation Faith. I made the same mistake. I thought we could keep things uncomplicated, too.”

“There is one thing that’s different about what happened with Sean and what happened with you.”


“Sean and I weren’t friends when we started all of that up. You and I are. I…miss my friend, Brad. I’m sorry for everything that happened. Can we try to go back to just being friends?”

“I don’t know, Faith. I really care about you.”

“But you can do that as a friend.” I said.

“It goes deeper than that, Faith.” Brad’s face was slightly red.

We were at a crossroads and I had no idea what to say. Brad looked so hurt and I didn’t want to hurt him again. I shook my head sadly.

“Brad, it’s not that I don’t care for you. I do….I just need something that isn’t so complicated. I just want friendship right now, with you. I want a relationship with a man that doesn’t confuse me and make me over think things.”

“You just want to be happy.” Brad said quietly to his shoes.

“Yeah.” I shrugged, “And you being my friend would make me happy.”

“Okay.” He said, “It’s going to take me a little bit, though, okay?”

“Deal.” I said giving him a hug.

On the way home I thought about our conversation and everything that Brad and I have lost. But I’m hoping we can at least salvage our friendship and, at the very least, our working relationship. To be honest, I think Brad is a little relieved about this whole situation, too. Now we can both move on from this. I hope Brad does move on quickly, I hope he finds a girl who is available and doesn’t hurt him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Call Me Maybe

Luke and I went on our brunch date over the weekend and I’m not going to go out with him again. He talked about himself, again, for the entire date and I was so bored. I told Molly about it when I got back.

“How’d it go!?” She said sitting next to me and handing me a glass of iced tea and plopping down on the couch.

“I don’t think Luke is the guy for me. I told him that I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend and that we needed to stop seeing each other right before we said good-bye.”
Molly had a small little smile on her face.

“How did he react?” She asked.

“He seemed…disappointed…and confused.” I said thinking back.

“I bet he did.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked.

“Luke isn’t the kind of guy who’s used to being dumped. He’s slept with half of the women in our cast for the show and I know tons of other women he’s slept with in the business from other shows and designing opportunities.”

“Well, then, why were you so happy that he and I got together?”

“Because I wanted you to have a good rebound. I wanted you to be sexed really well so you could move on to bigger and better relationships. I thought getting with Luke for a little bit would get you to move on.”

“But I am moving on.” I said, “Why do you want me to move on even faster?”

Molly looked guiltily before going into her bedroom and coming back with a small piece of paper. She handed it to me.

“What’s this?” I asked looking at it.

“Remember that fireman who told you he’d look for Murphy?”


“That is his phone number. He gave it to me the night of the fire.”

“Why are you giving it to me if he gave it to you?” I said looking at it again and trying to remember back to that night.

“Because he asked me to give it to you. He told me he knew it would be gross if he tried to pick you up while your apartment burned down and he saw that me, Anna, and Zoey knew you well so he asked me to give you his number and tell you to give him a call if you were interested in a date once you got back on your feet.”

I stared at the phone number for a moment before tossing it on the coffee table.

“Molly, I’m not going to call him, it’s been over a month. It would be too weird. Plus I don’t even know his name and I barely remember what he looks like.”

“Faith, the only thing you need to know about him is that he is a fire fighter and therefore, super hot. What do you have to lose, honestly? You royally screwed up your chances with Brad and Luke is now out of the picture. You could have a clean slate with this guy. No more complicated friends-with-benefits stuff, no more self-obsessed actors. Just think about it, okay?”

“Okay.” I said.

I’m not sure if I should call this fireman or not but I do know that I need to deal with Brad before I make that decision. It would be nice, for once, to not have complicated relationships like Molly pointed out. But wouldn’t it be wrong of me to go out on a date with this guy in the hopes of having a relationship, and not just sex, when I have been insisting the opposite with Brad? Maybe Molly is wrong, maybe I’m not ready for a relationship yet, maybe I haven’t moved on from Sean as much as she thinks I have.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Slip of the Tongue

Brad sent me a text to make sure we were still on for our date I didn’t really have any excuses to cancel, even if I was still bummed about the whole Murphy debacle. I told him that we were still on and he gave me the address of where we were going to meet before I pulled Molly into my room and we started selecting an outfit.

“You should wear this.” She said pulling out a sexy black wrap dress with a plunging neckline.

“No.” I said, crinkling my nose. The dress was a piece that Anna had gotten from work and gave to me after the fire. It was gorgeous and I looked super hot in it…which was the problem.

“Molly, the point is to NOT get Brad interested in dating me.”

“Faith,” she said looking at me with a not-amused look, “You are not going to show up on this date in a pair of sweat pants and a shirt with ketchup stains. You will wear sweatpants on this date over my dead body.”

“I don’t want to wear sweatpants but wearing that dress will send the wrong message.”
Molly sighed and pulled me down so I was sitting across from her on my bed.

“Faith, you know that I think it’s great that you’re dating and having fun but here’s the deal: you can’t run away from having actual relationships with people that go outside of sex.”

“I’m not running away from having a relationship.” I said.

“You’re right; you’re running away from the mere possibility.”

I looked at her indignantly.

“That’s not fair,” I said, “I don’t want a boyfriend right now, Molly. That doesn’t mean I’ll always feel that way.”

“Faith, going out on a date with Brad isn’t going to make him your boyfriend. He knows that, too. All he’s asking you for is the opportunity to get to know you better outside of work and his bed sheets. Now, go put on this damn dress!”

She handed it to me and I went to put it on while she picked out accessories. I came out and Molly whistled before handing me some bright red platform stilettos she pulled from her room and a matching red clutch purse she dug out of the back of my closet. Finally, I put on a simple silver chain drop necklace and matching earrings.

“Um, where did you get these shoes, Molly? They are SUPER slutty.”

“I had to wear them in a show I was in.”

“Which one?”

Chicago. I was one of the women in the jail that sings about killing their lovers.”

“Are you sure they aren’t too much? I can barely walk in them.”

“You’ll be fine! I had to dance in those! You can walk in them. Now, for your hair, I’m thinking sexy waves.” Molly said holding up my hair in different styles.

“Fine.” I said realizing that arguing was going to be futile.

Molly pushed me out the door with a kiss on the cheek.

“I filled your purse with condoms!” She said waving as I walked down our hallway. Mrs. Hodges, our neighbor, was unlocking her door and heard Molly’s yell. She gave me a dirty look and I walked away trying to hide my face with my clutch completely embarrassed.

“Hi…Mrs. Hodges.” I squeaked as I walked by her to get to the stairs.

I got to the meeting place Brad had specified and saw him waiting for me. He was wearing black jeans and a tight, white shirt with a black button up shirt over it. The black shirt wasn’t buttoned, though. I could see his muscles through his undershirt because it was so tight.

“Hey.” He smiled as soon as he saw me.

“Hi.” I said wobbling slightly because of my shoes.

We stood there awkwardly for a second before I decided to just let go and allow myself to really BE on this date. I leaned into him and kissed him.

“You look amazing.” He said when we pulled away.

“Thanks.” I said putting a strand of hair behind my ear, “So, where are we going?”

Brad smiled and took my hand.

“We’re going to this really cool indoor garden place. They have a restaurant and cobblestone paths and  all sorts of other cool stuff.”

I gulped; trying to walk around in a garden, let alone on cobblestone paths, in the shoes Molly gave me was not going to be very fun.

When we got there, though, I was in awe. The garden was huge and there were swans and a butterfly garden and even a lake with a fountain in the middle of it. Fairy lights were strung between trees and there were small little paths all over the place. There was lots of privacy, too. The restaurant was on one side of the lake so you could watch swans glide across the water and play in the fountain as you ate by candlelight. It was a really romantic place but I could also see the potential of it being casual during the day or maybe even a fun spot for kids to have field trips.

“Brad this is…amazing.” I said as we stood on a bridge over a small river and watched some koi swim by, “Thank you for bringing me here.”

“I’m really glad you like it.” He said leaning over the bridge railing next to me so our arms were touching,“Are you getting hungry?”

“I am.” I said.

He grabbed my hand and we walked to the restaurant. It had white table cloths and each table was surrounded by flowers and ivy and in the center there was a large willow tree that draped over some of the tables. The hostess showed us to our table and we sat down with menus. I ended up ordering a chicken pasta dish and Brad ordered the same and a bottle of wine.

I actually had a really great time over dinner and not just because the food was good but because Brad was so funny and sincere. I told him about Murphy and he reached across the table and rubbed my arm while I talked.

“I’m so sorry it wasn’t him, Faith.

“Me, too. Molly and I had already started talking about clearing a space for his kitty castle and the litter box on the way to that clinic…- I’m sorry, talking about where my cat poops and being a downer is SO not sexy dinner talk.” I said catching myself and feeling embarrassed.

Brad laughed.

“It’s okay. Seeing you tell stories about him makes me happy.”

“Why, are you a cat person?”

“No, because you look happy when you talk about him and seeing you happy makes me happy, too.”
I blushed. I hadn’t seen this side of Brad at work. He seemed so…different on our date. He wasn’t being sarcastic or snarky at all.

When we finished dinner we went for another walk around the garden. Everything was going fine until I fell down.

“Whoa! Are you okay?” Brad asked helping me up. I had skinned my knee.

“I’m fine,” I said inspecting the damage, “It’s just these damn shoes!”

He put his arm around my waist and we continued walking. I tripped two more times before I lost it.

“That is IT!” I said taking off my shoes and walking barefoot.

Brad laughed and offered to hold them for me. We found a small pond alcove with a couple of swans gliding around.

“Here.” He said handing me a piece of bread he had saved from our dinner, “You can feed them.”

I looked at Brad with surprise before I started ripping the bread apart and throwing it into the small pond for the swans.

We sat on a rock and watched them in a comfortable silence. I laid my head on Brad’s shoulder and realized that I felt really comfortable in that moment with him. I entwined my fingers with his and pushed my feet into the grass.

“This is so relaxing.” I said.

“I thought you’d like it here.” He said looking down at me. I tipped my face up to his and we shared a long make-out session that was rudely interrupted by the loud noises the swans started making when they realized I didn’t have any more bread. It startled us so much that we both fell backwards off the rock we were sitting on and ended up in the grass with our legs up in the air.

We both started laughing hysterically before moving on to another area of the garden to watch butterflies flit about.

We left the garden much sooner than I had wanted but it was about to close and we had no choice. I put my shoes back on before we left and ended back up on the street. We ended up walking through a park that was close to my apartment. He walked me to the front of my apartment building.

“I had a nice time, Faith.”

“Me, too.” I said.

“I’ll, uh, see you at work then.” He said putting his hands in his pockets.

“You could…come upstairs.” I said slowly.

He looked like he hadn’t expected such an invitation. I hadn’t, either considering how unwilling I was to go on this date with him.

“For coffee or something.” I added quickly. I grabbed his hand and pulled him with me before he could think more about it. We ended up in the elevator with him pressed against me and his hands up my dress. My mouth was moving across his jaw line and down his neck, his stubble was rough against my face and hurt…but in a good way. When the elevator opened, Brad and I were an entwined mass and very distracted. Someone cleared their throat and we looked up.

“Hi…again…Mrs. Hodges.” I said quickly pulling Brad out of the elevator and past my neighbor. She was taking her trash out and wearing the same angry look on her face from before. As soon as the doors closed, Brad and I burst out laughing.

It took me a long time to get my door open because Brad was distracting me by kissing my neck. The apartment was empty; Molly was acting and wouldn’t be home until very late because she had some suicide hotline hours tonight after the show. I put the keys on the table we have near the door and Brad looked around. I watched him as he took it in. He looked back at me with arched eyebrows.

“It’s nice. I can tell you live here.” He said.

I kicked my shoes off before we got going again and we both laughed about it. I pulled him into my bedroom and sat him on my bed so I could take his shirts off, then I pulled off my dress as he wiggled out of his jeans before he pulled me to him. I was straddling him and kissing his neck.

“You know what the best part is?” I said between kisses.

“No, what?” He said breathing heavily.

“My headboard is against an outer wall…so my neighbors won’t hear it banging when it starts banging into the wall this time.”

We both started laughing.

“My neighbor is probably thankful that we’re here tonight instead.” He said before taking off my bra and trailing down to my chest with soft kisses…

Afterward, Brad and I laid in my bed, wrapped in each other’s arms. We were looking into each other’s eyes and I was playing with his hair.

“I’m glad I decided to go on a date with you.” I said quietly.

“I’m glad you suggested it.” He said.

“You know what’s funny? I didn’t even mean to. That text was supposed to go to Luke. I didn’t want to go at first…” I stopped talking at the look on Brad’s face.

He pulled away from me and I could see the hurt on his face.

“Wait, this was a pity date?”


“You only agreed because you were too afraid to say you’d meant for someone else to get that message.”

“It wasn’t like th-”

“That’s a lie and you know it.” He said quietly.

“But I don’t feel that way now.” I said.

He started getting dressed.

“Brad, you don’t have to leave. Let’s talk about this.”

“No, Faith, I DO need to leave. Remember, staying the night is too much commitment for you. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“Brad this isn’t fair. You know that I’m not interested in having a boyfriend right now.”

“Faith, I wasn’t under the impression that I WAS your boyfriend, the only thing I DID expect from you was to be treated like you cared about me as a friend. It’s obvious you don’t care about me enough to even let me know that you weren’t interested in a date. I’m sorry I wasted your time with this pity date.”

I pulled a big sweatshirt on and followed him out into the living room.

“Brad…just let me explain.”

“I just did!” He said turning around to look at me.

“It wasn’t a pity date. I enjoyed myself tonight.”

“Faith, you usually enjoy yourself when we have sex. Are you sure enjoyed the date or did you just enjoy having sex with me like every other time we spend time together?”

“I was reluctant about going on a date with you because I was worried about you acting like this.” I said gesturing to him.

“Like what? Hurt because you couldn’t even be honest with me?” He turned to go but turned back, “You know what’s really funny? You were so worried about leading Luke on but what did you think was going to happen when you pretended like you WANTED to go on this date with me? You should have been honest with me, Faith. I would have been able to handle it. I even gave you an out! I asked you if we were still on for tonight and you chose not to back out.”

“I didn’t have a good excuse.” I said. I had regretted saying that as soon as it came out of my mouth.

Brad looked at me with complete shock and hurt.

“Faith, we are FRIENDS, you didn’t NEED an excuse to tell me that you were uncomfortable with the thought of going on a date. You could have just told me! Do you not consider me a friend?”
Brad looked so hurt and I felt so bad. I didn’t say anything and Brad took a step away from me before looking away. He nodded slowly as if he was convincing himself about something.

“Bye, Faith.” He said before he slammed the door behind him.

In hindsight, I don’t know why I didn’t tell him that I consider him a friend. I do. I consider him a great friend but maybe I’m more confused about my own feelings than I thought. I’ve been so worried about Luke’s and Brad’s feelings that I don’t think I examined mine as well as I should have. Maybe my fear of leading Brad and Luke on is more founded in the fact that I’m afraid of opening myself up to someone emotionally. I think I’ve been so focused on this idea of labeling someone as my boyfriend that I haven’t considered what actually makes someone my boyfriend and the feelings that go with being in a relationship where your boyfriend didn’t get their tour manager pregnant.

I really screwed things up.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


“How did they know it was Murphy?” Zoey asked as she sped down a side street to avoid traffic.
Molly’s car is in the shop so I called Zoey and begged her to drive me to the vet clinic that claimed to have Murphy. She came as fast as she could.

“I don’t know! I just told them we’d be there! You have to hurry!”

“Faith, I’m going double the speed limit, it’s a wonder I haven’t been pulled over yet.”

I ran into the small vet clinic looking like a frantic mess followed by Molly (Zoey was parking).

“I’m Murphy’s-Murphy is my-”

“I’ll take you to see him.” A blonde nurse said and smiled gently.

I was led to the back and put in an exam room; Molly was quietly waiting next to me. A vet tech wheeled a giant plastic box into the room. It looked like a baby incubator. I put my hand over my mouth and my eyes filled with tears and Molly put her arm around me.

I looked at the nurse with confusion.

“That isn’t him. That’s not Murphy.”

“Are you sure? He’s been through a lot, he might just look different because of the burns.” The nurse said.

“Murphy is black and white.”I said looking at the very obviously brown tabby cat in the incubator.

Just then Dr. Jones walked in a shook my hand. She was a small, gray-haired woman with glasses.

“He’s going to be okay.” She said as Zoey entered the room quietly behind Molly and I.

The nurse whispered something to Dr. Jones.

“Really?” Dr. Jones asked, her eyebrows rose.

“Why did you think that was my cat?” I asked.

“That cat has a microchip in it that was traced to when you adopted him.” She said looking perplexed,“Yvonne, can you get the scanner, please?”

The nurse nodded and left the room only to return a few seconds later. She handed the object she was holding to Dr. Jones who then opened the incubator and scanned the cat’s back.

She looked at the screen and then scanned it again. She did this several more times, each time she wrinkled her forehead more and more.

“This doesn’t make any sense,” she said showing the scanner’s screen to the nurse.

“What’s the deal?” Molly said.

“This cat has two microchips in it. We’ll need to call the other owner connected to the other chip to see if they’ll claim it. But this cat also has Murphy’s chip in it, too. It has the chip registered to you and your previous address. I don’t know how this cat got a chip registered to you in it.”

“So if Murphy’s chip is in that cat…?” I said more to myself.

“I’m sorry for calling you all the way out here.” Dr. Jones said. She said some other things to Molly and Zoey before she left the room but I wasn’t listening.

I sat down in a chair and things were a blur. Zoey and Molly pulled into a diner and forced me to eat.

“Don’t worry, Faith, he could be out there somewhere.” Zoey said.

“If his chip is in that other cat, it means it’s not in him.” I said, “Which means that if he’s even alive and found, they won’t know that he has a home and an owner.”

Zoey and Molly got really quiet. None of us knew what to say.

“It would have just been easier if the firemen had been able to find his remains,” I said darkly, “It’s worse not knowing if he’s even alive, at least if they’d found his remains, I’d know and would be able to move on.”

“Have you considered adopting again? You know that I would be fine with that.” Molly said.

“I don’t want another cat! I want MY cat!” I said more loudly than was necessary.

“What if you just volunteered at some shelters,” Zoey said gently, “maybe being around more cats and dogs would help you move on.”

I shrugged her off and silently ate my food.

I’m so confused about why this whole ordeal happened. My apartment burned down because of arson and my cat is gone and breaking up with my ex-boyfriend made me emotionally unstable and a poor decision maker. Is this karma? Why can’t I just ever move on from things!? Why is there always something that happens to remind me of all of the bad stuff?

Monday, May 7, 2012


I woke up to a text from Brad:

              “I want to apologize for the other night.”

I wiped the sleep out of my eyes.

“Ugh, it’s too early for boy drama.” I muttered before starting a reply message.

               “You don’t have to apologize.”

I got up and brushed my teeth but when I came back I saw that he had sent me another message:

“Yes I do. I feel really bad about making you feel so uncomfortable. I don’t want things to be weird.”

I sighed and typed another reply:

“Brad, we’re both on the same page when it comes to what we have and where it’s going. Things don’t need to be weird.”

I was putting on a pair of jeans when I heard my phone buzz again.

            “We could try going on a date, though.”

I stared at my phone and cursed my sex life.

“Is this what I get for enjoying consistent orgasms!?” I shouted at the ceiling.

I began typing a reply to Brad but before I sent it I got a message from Luke:

               “Hey, beautiful, did you get your work schedule? When am I seeing you again?”

I quickly deleted my reply to Brad and started a new message.

               “I’m free Wednesday at 8.”

About three seconds later, Molly sent me a text from her room:

               “Why are you screaming about orgasms this early in the morning?”

I smirked and sent her a reply:

“Let me worry about maybe not having good orgasms anymore. You worry about Calvin’s penis.”

Finally I finished my text to Brad:

               “We can’t go on a date. You know I’m not looking for a boyfriend right now.”

I put my phone on my night stand and headed into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. Molly was in there too and she was laughing over her cup of coffee and looking at her phone.

“Did Calvin send you another sext?” I asked mockingly.

“Uh, no,” she said turning her phone to me, “First, when did I become a dude and second, when did I ever ask you out on a date?”

“OH MY GOD.” I said spilling coffee everywhere, jumping over the couch, and running in to my room to grab my phone, “NOOO! NO! NO! NO!”

Molly found me sitting next to my night stand lightly banging my head against the wall and staring at my phone with dismay.

“Problem, honeybunch?”

“I just sent a text to Brad telling him that we could go out on date this Wednesday and another text to Luke vaguely implying that he’s gay and doesn’t give me good orgasms.” I put my head on my knees.

“Did they reply?” Molly was obviously suppressing a laugh.

“This is not funny!”

“It kind of is.” She said sitting on my bed, “Did they?”

“Yes.” I whined.


“Brad says: ‘Really? I’ll see you at 8 on Wednesday, then.” And then Luke just put a bunch of questions marks.”

“Well.” Molly said with finality and then sipped her coffee.


“Your mother.”

I let out a loud wail and threw a piece of clothing at her.

“Faith, you are over-reacting. Just text Luke back and say that you were making a joke and that you’re free for a brunch date this weekend. He wouldn’t have been able to do a date on Wednesday anyway; he has shows every weekday that start at 7:30.”

“And what about Brad?”

“Go on the date with him. I don’t know why you’re resisting this. Just do it. If it’s weird, then you guys can just be friends and he can continue to give you multiple orgasms without the added complication of being your boyfriend.”

I stared at Molly unhappily.

“What? I’m not the one that doesn’t know how to send text messages.” She shrugged and laughed.

I called Zoey about what she thought I should do and she basically said the same thing as Molly. Telling Brad I meant to send Luke that message would hurt his feelings and then things would get SUPER weird. So…I guess I’m going on a date with Brad?

My phone rang and I groaned. I was sick of dealing with my phone.


“It’s your mom.”

“Hi, mom.”

She asked me if I’d gotten everything squared away with the move before she got my dad on the phone, too.

“Your mom and I have been thinking and we decided to buy you a laptop. It’ll be arriving sometime this week.” My dad said.

I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that they had done that. I told them I didn’t need it and that I would buy one later but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. I thanked them repeatedly and we talked about how I’ve been dealing with everything.

“I think I’ve been doing well considering.” I said shrugging, “Everyone has been really supportive and helpful.”

“How have you been sleeping, sweetie?” My mom asked.

“Okay.” I lied. I haven’t been able to sleep well since the fire. I keep having nightmares about Murphy being caught in it.

We said good-bye after a few more minutes and I went to lay down. My phone rang again. I sighed and answered it.


The person on the other end asked me what my name was. I told them and then heard them mumble something on the other end to someone around them.

“My name is Dr. Jones. I work at the Southside Hunter Street Vet Clinic. I think we might have your cat, Murphy here.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I went out on a date with Luke the other night and while we made a lot of small talk, I also realized we don’t really have a lot of chemistry when we aren’t talking about him and what a great actor he is. To be honest, I was kind of bored.

We went to dinner and Luke spent about 70% of the time talking about himself or telling me stories from when he didn’t get paid to act. They were interesting but I felt like I spent the majority of the time having him talk AT me and not with me. The food was probably the best part.

Luke took me to a pretty snazzy bar that serves food (but it’s known for its drinks) and it was so good. I ordered a bread crumb-encrusted salmon with a lemony salad and Luke got some sort of rib dish. Afterward we got some ice cream and ate as we walked back to his place. Our chemistry in the bedroom is still intact and it was actually better since we both weren’t inebriated but I didn’t stay the night like I had last time.

“I had fun,” Luke said kissing me on the forehead in the door way, “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Okay,” I said.

He called me and wanted to go out on another date sometime this week but I hadn’t gotten my work schedule yet, so I told him I’d let him know when I was free once I got it. But I think I’ve slowly realized that I kind of don’t want to go out with him again. I was telling Cara about Luke and how luke-warm (HA!) I was feeling about and Brad overheard us.

“Boy troubles, Faith?” He smirked.

I rolled my eyes.

“I think you should try one more date.” Cara said, “Maybe he was just nervous on your last one. I know that I get nervous on dates and sometimes talk too much, I’m sure other people do, too.”

Cara left to get something from the stock room and I considered what she said. Maybe Luke had just been nervous on our date.

“If you ask me, the dude is selfish. He’s not going to get better on date two.” Brad said.

“Well I didn’t ask you.” I said not nearly as playfully as I had expected.

Brad put his hands up in mock surrender.

“Fine, I just figured since I’m a dude, maybe my advice would be welcome.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, “You really think he’s as selfish as he sounds?”

“I do.” Brad said before walking over to a customer and leaving me with my thoughts.

It was really slow so Cara left before Brad and I closed. Because I now live with Molly, Brad and I actually take the same bus to get home at night. We were sitting on the bus talking about some customers we’d had earlier until there was a slight pause and Brad looked at me.

“So is this guy your boyfriend?”

“No.” I said smiling, “Why, are you jealous?”

“Not really,” he said nudging me, “I just thought I’d ask if you wanted to come home with me.”

I thought about it and agreed. Luke isn’t my boyfriend and I don’t want a boyfriend right now. I just want to have some fun and date around for while. Being with Sean really did a number on me so I don’t like the idea of being tied down to one guy again…at least for awhile. I do think that I should tell Luke that, though, because I think I might be leading him on without really meaning to.

Brad put his arm on the back of my seat while we waited for his stop to come up. I lightly put my hand on his cheek and pulled his face to mine and then kissed him. He kissed me back softly until it was time to get off the bus. Having sex with Brad is actually better than sex with Luke and I think it’s because Brad and I have chemistry when we aren’t having sex, too. There’s just another level to what Brad and I have but at the same time, that’s not unexpected. We work together and we’re friends. Luke and I don’t work together and I barely know him.

Brad rolled off of me panting.

“You know, I’m surprised your next door neighbor hasn’t banged on the wall or anything because your headboard certainly makes a lot of noise when it bangs in the wall when we’re having sex.”

“It’s not the only one.” He said looking over at me and laughing.

“I’m vocal. I like what I like,” I said shrugging.

“It’s certainly an ego boost for me,” he said pulling me closer to him and kissing my neck.

“No,” I said wiggling away, “I have to get home, we can’t go again.”

I climbed over him and got up but he put his hands on my hips and playfully pulled me onto his lap.

“You could also just stay here for the night,” He said starting up with the kissing again.

“No, I can’t just stay the night every time I come over.” I said.

“Well, for one, you’ve never stayed the night and why can’t you? It would be safer than you waiting on a dark street for a bus at 3 in the morning.”

“Because, Brad, I can’t. I don’t even have a toothbrush here…or clothes. I don’t like doing the walk of shame every morning.”

“So just bring some of your stuff over here and stick them in a drawer. Pick one, I’ll clean it out for you.”

We both froze as soon as the words left his mouth. A line had been crossed. That’s something you say to your girlfriend…a girlfriend you really care about and we both knew this conversation was headed in a really uncomfortable direction for both of us.

“Um, you’re right, you should go.” Brad said letting go of me immediately.

“Yeah.” I said collecting my stuff as fast as I could, “I’ll see you at work, okay?”

“Yeah, bye.” He said. Usually he gives me a hug before I leave. He went in for one but then stopped himself and we awkwardly high-fived.

I got back from his place late last night but I couldn’t sleep because now I’m worried that BRAD is the one I’m leading on instead of Luke. Or maybe I’m leading both of them on? Brad and I are both clear about what this is, though, so am I really leading him on when he’s known up-front that I am not looking for a boyfriend?